Ah, September. A month full of changing leaves, weather that isn’t absurdly hot or cold, warm drinks, and… less writing time because of school.

Oh boy.

We all know that once the school year starts, it takes up everything. If you guys are anything like me, you lock yourself in your room once you’re home and slave over your homework for hours, only leaving to go pee, and wishing you had the chance to spend time slaving over a manuscript instead. Or maybe you want someone else to write with in the flesh and blood.

If you have a true writing buddy IRL, awesome! I’m jealous. That being said, there are plenty of us who don’t have that. Or maybe we want to connect with more writers our age, but we don’t have that much time outside of school to search for a writing group.

Guess what? There’s a way around that: maybe you can start a creative writing club! Yes, you!

Trust me, it’s possible. I’m a hot mess if there ever was one, and yet I started one in my freshman year of high school, the PolyGraphs. It’s always the highlight of my week, and it seems to still be going well.

PolyGraphs Writing Club! I love these guys so much <3

I know that the idea of starting a club seems daunting. It was for me. If you’re interested, though, I say give it a shot! There’s a lot of fun to be had and potential friends to make, not to mention that you get to write with a bunch of other people.

So here are some things that I’ve learned along the way with my club. Think of them as mistakes I’ve made so you don’t have to ๐Ÿ˜€

#1: Set up the logistics

This sounds like a no-brainer, but when you’re caught up in grand plans for what your group will look like and all the things you’ll do, it’s easy to lose track of all the nuts and bolts that come with setting up a club, like picking a day to hold meetings, how long they should be, and where in the school to hold them. In many school districts, student-run clubs also need a faculty supervisor, so make sure to ask your English teachers if they’d be willing to help out.

#2: Figure out a vision before you start meeting up

I’m going to be real with you: There are a million and one things a creative writing club can do, and there’s no way you’ll be able to do all of them. Me and the PolyGraphs knocked around plenty of lofty missions, like publishing a journal and holding lots of contests to spread the love of written words, before finally deciding our main goal was to help each other become more confident writers and workshop each other’s pieces.

Having a mission statement can help you understand what you want the club to look like, and if things start to crash and burn, having it could help the club get itself together again.

#3: Have snacks there

DO NOT UNDERESTIMATE THE POWER OF FREE FOOD. Seriously. Every week, at least one person comes into our meeting just because they saw that we had brownies or fruit leather. Sometimes they stay, sometimes they don’t, but they’re sure going to tell their friends that we exist, and as long as people are coming to see what the club is up to, we’re good. Plus, after a long day of school, everyone in the club probably could use a bite to eat.

#4: Be as consistent as possible

Nobody likes a club that barely ever meets! Try to make the club’s meetings fairly regular, but don’t overdo it. Some people might be able to hold a writing club multiple days a week, but I can only manage once a week, some people might hold a meeting every other week. All are fine.

Also, wild changes in how the meetings are run may turn some people off. A good way to keep this from happening is to elect club officers or get everyone involved in the organization of the club so that no single person is doing all the work.

#5: Stockpile prompt ideas

You might want to clear out your phone space, because you’ll want to screenshot any good writing prompts you come across on social media or the web. It’s also really good to use themes that focus on certain aspects of writing, such as character or mood.

Rory’s Story Cubes & Mad Libs on display during a school fair last year

And the concepts don’t even have to be from the internet – Rory’s Story Cubesย were a lifesaver for me last year, and simply getting everyone to shout out random words or phrases (like pandas, Iceland, and “wubba lubba dub dub”) and write something using all of them can make for some interesting pieces of work.

#6: Remember to have fun with it!

School is tough, guys. Things will happen. Things get to us all the time. In my experience, the best clubs are the ones that can make you feel good after a hard day, and if you’re getting furious about how someone forgot their poem to workshop or didn’t bring the banana bread they promised to make, you might need to take a step back and ask yourself, am I having fun with this club anymore? If the answer is that the group hasn’t been fun or helpful for your writing in a while, it’s okay to bow out. Find something that is fun.

If you love the club but your schedule is making more of a burden than a release, it’s okay to take a step back and rejoin once things get easier. Ideally, the club should be able to go on without you there.

If it’s just a temporary thing and you really enjoy the club, keep going! Ish happens, and that shouldn’t stop you from having a good time at the end of the day.

 

Are any of you guys part of any writing clubs? Have you started one? Tell us about your experience in the comments! ๐Ÿ™‚

Log in or Register to save this content for later.
ahberry

ahberry

Hi guys! I’m a 17-year-old nerd with a passion for the written word. When I’m not on here, I’m probably sleeping, doing homework, binge-watching YouTube, or perhaps actually writing. To see more snippets of my life, follow me on Instagram (@ahberryhere)

View all posts

6 comments

  • ah, one of the very few pains of homeschooling–so much free time, flexibility and depth to education (plus we *ARE* well socialized) AND YET, it’s very very hard to start a club. Curse you, house-that’s-out-in-the-country-so-literally-no-one-knows-about-the-town-you’rein-even-though-I’m-right-next-to-Kemptville-nicknamed-Kempvegas!! Plus all the libraries around close at like, 2 cause they’re run by grandmothers or college students (hence OR, although I’m unopposed to grandmothers furthering their education) ANYWAY, good post, and really amazed that you had the guts and talent to get that up and running! Kudos to you!

  • Great advice, ah! I’ve been part of some writing clubs at libraries, and I’m wanting to see if I can get one started in my area. Is it different for libraries than schools? My favorite library was one in Oregon, where they had regular D&D meets, zombie fight nights, rentable board games, and writers club. Because it was always raining, we had to do a lot of cool stuff inside. And even though it’s beautiful in Florida, I’d love to have some more activities at the libraries. And I figured writers clubs would be a good place to start!

    • I don’t spend nearly the amount of time at the local library as I used to, so I don’t know how different starting a library writing club would be, but asking someone at the front desk about it would probably be a good first step. Good luck setting it up, Noah!

  • That’s amazing how you were able to do that! It’s great to encourage other writers, and people who want to BECOME writers! Although I have to admit…this sounds crazy…but I don’t want to join my school’s creative writing club. I don’t know why, but I can’t picture myself joining. You see, I’m not the type of person to read my work aloud or let my friends read stuff. I can’t even write knowing there are people in the same room, even if they aren’t looking over my shoulder.

    But it’s so cool what you did. And for all the people who strive in group writing environments, you created a great resource for them and I hope others will do the same!

    • Thanks Mel!
      I can totally understand where you’re coming from. I was the shy kind of writer for a long time, believe it or not (and I still don’t like it when people read over my shoulder while I’m writing). There are plenty of days in the club when I don’t share stuff either!

Who’s Online?

Izze

Categories

Top Hits

Yes No

UPDATES

TAJ's page-view growth required a remodeling of the site! Things might be a little jumbled up for a couple of days while it is under revision. Thanks for the patience everyone...hopefully TAJ emerges as an even better site!